LG has launched the world's first commercially available ultra-high-definition OLED TVs. Photo: AFP
Just weeks after announcing the availability of its first curved ultra-high definition LCD TVs, the company has just brought the world's first OLED ultra-high-definition television sets to market.
Until now, the only ultra-high-definition (UHD) TV sets on sale -- curved or flat -- have used LCD panels which are fine but which need a row of LEDs either directly behind the screen or around its border to provide the illumination when the television is on. This illumination needs to intensify and diminish in order to create tones, contrasts, extreme brightness and pitch blackness. And, while they can do this, they can't do it as effectively as an OLED display can and they can't do it as accurately either.
OLED screens, like LG's new curved sets, which come in a 65-inch and 77-inch model, have their own integrated illumination: each pixel of an OLED display can be adjusted for contrast or brightness. The result in ‘normal' HD displays is wonderful, but when upscaled to UHD (a resolution four times that of HD, hence its other name, 4K) the results are so good that the only way to obtain a clearer cinematic image is to be there on set while the film was being made and view the story in real life with your own eyes.
"LG 4K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and a new paradigm that will change the dynamics of the next generation TV market," said Hyun-hwoi Ha, president and CEO of LG's Home Entertainment Company. "As the next evolutionary step in display technology, OLED will play a major role in reshaping our industry. I feel confident when I say that 4K OLED is a bona fide game changer."
There's no debate regarding the superior quality of an OLED display but the problem has been that until now, mass producing 4K panels to these huge 60-inch+ sizes has not been possible. Samsung and Sony have also been trying to solve the mass production problem and it looks as if LG may have beaten both of its closest televisual competitors to the punch.
"OLED TVs are expected to overtake LCD in sales within a few years and no company is better prepared for this than LG," added Mr. Ha. "OLED's benefits are obvious. There's no deterioration in picture quality and issues such as image blurring, distortion and color leakage in curved LED units are simply non-existent on curved OLED TVs. 4K OLED TV represents superb value for the consumer in terms of color reproduction, contrast ratio, detail and viewing angles."
The televisions will be on display at Europe's biggest consumer technology expo, the IFA in Germany, from September 5, and will be going on sale before the end of the year.
In terms of pricing, LG is yet to confirm how much either television will cost, however reports suggest that in the US, the smaller, 65-inch model could cost as little as $7000.